COLUMN: The life and faith of God are for today

By Rev. Dr. Peter C. Smith
Guest Columnist

There is a scene from the recent hit tv show, Ted Lasso, in which the owner of the British football (soccer) team at the center of the show has to reveal to the coach (Ted) some devastating news. She has done something despicable to him and to others, and she is trying to work up the courage to admit her fault. In that moment, she focuses on the word “procrastinate” and begins trying to unpack it etymologically and gets stuck at the “cras.” 

It is a beautiful and meaningful scene as it unfolds into forgiveness, but I am also stuck at the “cras.” That is Latin for “tomorrow.” Literally, the word means “to hold off something for tomorrow.” The team owner was desperate to push off the tough conversation for another day but knew deep down it needed to happen sooner rather than later. Procrastination is rarely seen in a good light.

My wife and I are rewatching the series from Apple TV as we prepare to go on a trip to the UK in June. By the time you read this, we will have just gotten back, but I am writing this before we leave in my effort to not procrastinate. It is so, so, so easy to let things go for some later date. Some people are wired to jump on what needs to be done right away, but many of us are the opposite. Deadlines help me get things done, but as I put together the final preparations for our big trip, there are also too many things to get done to leave them for another day. Procrastination is not an option here.

The simplicity of Jesus’ admonition about worrying for the future in Matthew 6 has made it a favorite of mine for a long time – birds and flowers and God’s care. I love it all. Jesus is warning us to not become fixated on whether we will have this or that, whether we will be cared for in ways that should not distract us from more meaningful things. God will take care of us. But this passage is also about where our focus is in general. Procrastination does not sit well in Jesus’ vision for God’s Kingdom in which we are seeking first for the things of the Kingdom. Sounds like that priority is a “here and now” instruction, not a tomorrow or the next day suggestion. 

It is always a good day to seek God’s building, reconciling, forgiving presence in this world. It is always a good day to see the Spirit’s leading right in front of us. It is always a good day to recommit to infusing the world around us more and more in the grace of our Lord. Tomorrow is not going to help anyone. The love of God, the healing of God, the compassion of God, the life of God, and the faith of God are for today.

DR. PETER C. SMITH is the pastor for Farmville Presbyterian Church. He can be reached at pastorfpc@centurylink.net.

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